Clarke named 2016 European Ryder Cup captain

Former British Open champion Darren Clarke was named as captain yet the man he edged out for the job won just as many admirers with the way he handled the decision.

Miguel Angel Jiminez, four years Clarke’s senior and already a winner on the US Seniors’ Tour this year, was among the first to pledge his allegiance to Clarke when the next Ryder Cup is played in 2016.

Darren Clarke Darren Clarke (Credit:

While Jiminez admitted he was disappointed he wasn’t named captain of the European team, he hasn’t given up hope of making the team on his own merits and, failing that, he’d still be happy to act as a vice-captain to Clarke if he was required.

Clarke was always favoured to get the job, so it was hardly surprising he was told he’d be leading Europe against the might of the US at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minnesota, from September 30 – October 2, 2016.

A meeting of the five-man selection panel decided that the man who had played in five Ryder Cups and been a vice-captain in two had earned his ‘stripes’ and would serve as captain.

Clarke takes the reins for the 41st Ryder Cup with the aim of leading Europe to a record fourth consecutive victory in the biennial contest.

Clarke said: “I am naturally extremely proud to be selected as European Ryder Cup captain for 2016.

“The Ryder Cup has been a massive part of my life and my career, so to have the chance to lead Europe next year is a huge honour.

“I am lucky to have played and worked under some fantastic captains in my seven Ryder Cups to date.

Now I look forward to the challenge of trying to follow in their footsteps and help Europe to a fourth consecutive Ryder Cup victory at Hazeltine next year.”